tv [untitled] April 13, 2012 9:30pm-10:00pm PDT
before we go to the panel discussion. these facts may be intellectually stimulating or inspiring, but they do not really speak honestly to my heart. this is what brought me to the sharing economy. what i was after was a new way to live in a way that i felt i could live fully. what excites me about sharing is how it changes every day like for the better. it empowers us. the economic shift in the new businesses of creating and exchanging value is creating a new cultural narrative. it is replacing an old legacy narrative that was toxic. it told us the go live comes from shopping and competition -- it told us the good life comes
from shopping in competition, from being free from each other. we are leading ving this because it has pushed us to the brink of extinction. it has enslaved as to debt. it is boring. it is spiritually empty. there is a news story being born in san francisco. it is one where the more you contribute to the common good, the more you are respected. the better you believe in committee, the more access to what you have -- the better you behave in a community, the more access you have. instead of judging each other, we help each other and realize our greatest potential.
we open our world to each other. through doing that, we are liberated. we find freedom through our relationships. i have lived both of these stories. the old one almost broke my spirit. the sharing story has saved me. let's continue the discussion about how we can bring more people into that story. thank you. [applause] >> we will start with you. is that ok? >> sure. and the mayor's chief innovation
officer, it is a new position created three months ago. i am excited to be part of that. my role is to use new approaches and ideas to solve longstanding civic issues. we launched the mayor's 2012 innovation portfolio the couple of weeks ago. a couple of weeks ago. we're looking for volunteers. i have a small team, no budget, which i am really proud of. come join my team. i am bootstrapping things. cities are the original sharing platform. we manage parking through parking meters. we manage books through public libraries. we manage our natural resources through parks. cities have played this role. in this bidding we're having this conversation in san francisco at -- it is negative
beating -- it is fitting that we're having this conversation in san francisco at spur. i think it is off somewhere one of the first cities, i think the only city, and has put together a working group around the sharing economy. we are the epicenter in san francisco. we have a role to help nurture the emerging space. there is a lot of value to be created here. i am really excited to be part of the panel seeing all of these great people next to me. >> the people on the panel are going to tell us about their companies. let's come straight down the line. >> i am a co-founder and ceo of viable, a community marketplace for travel experiences. anybody can offer their services to others as a guide, offering
touristrs, sailing ships, cookig class. we have enabled terrorism -- tourism to access parts of the city it had never before accessed. restoring murals for example. we launched in 2011. we have been going for about a year. we're proud to be launched in san francisco and growing the platform here. >> i am the founder of a company called task rabbit, an online marketplace for people to outsource jobs to others. if you need dry cleaning pickup or groceries delivered, you can post that job. one of our over 1000 active task rabbits will be alerted and you
will be able to be matched to them. they both run online vetting process that includes an application, background check. we're passionate about the idea of micro entrepreneurship. we have created over 1000 jobs for people in san francisco to set their own schedules, say how much they want to be paid, do what they want to do. we're proud to be here, part of the sharing economy, and hearing from you guys as well. >> i am the director of public policy at air b &b. it is an online community market place where residents can lift their haul -- list their homes for rent when they are out of town. i am travelling next week and plan on listing my apartment for rent to a visitor.
these hosts are in 19,000 cities. the use the income to afford the increasing cost of living, whether paying off your mortgage, paying rent, or expanding income. travels who use the service are looking for a different experience from a hotel. we have hosts in every single neighbor had in the city -- neighborhood in the city that offers authentic experiences. the hosts take pride in being unofficial ambassadors of their neighborhoods. the visitors enjoy the experience. the state average of five nights. that is twice the average of the hotel guests. they patronize local businesses and experience of the city has to offer. -- experience all the city has
to offer. >> i am one of the founders of get around. we are a marketplace for cars sharing. we founded the company in 2009 as part of the graduate studies program where we were challenged to come up with an idea that could impact 1 billion people in 10 years. we believe we are addressing the problem of overpopulation. millions of cars sit idle 92% of the time. because congesting in the city's -- they cause congestion in the city' and burn a hole in your pocketbook. we all have cars that sit there. i am happy to see many of our members in the audience tonight who share their cars and make an average $300 a month. that is a significant amount of money that can offset expenses and be put into the local economy.
we believe we are addressing key issues in our city. i am very proud to be your. we chose to launch in san francisco. we felt this was the place to join the sharing revolution. we have about 10,000 cars signed up across the country. we are available in four markets. we're lucky to have the backing from the community. a little bit about how it works, you can sign up on your smartphone right now. as a car owner, you would go to the website and list the car you want to share. you have complete control over who you want to share it with. he will get requests. you can decide if it is convenient to share at that time. you can choose just to share with friends or neighbors. we provide the insurance during the rental. it is completely covered. there is nothing to worry about.
we were pro-active in drafting the public policy to be innovative by launching a campaign to address this at the state level in 2010. we got a law passed in california that is continuing to go to new states. we are excited about that. we're launching more cities. you will see this in more areas. the neat part about what happens with get around is it is building a community. people know who they live next to each other and can help each other out. that is a common theme we have heard. we're also helping the environment because it takes cars off the road. less people have to own cars. never having owned a car, i think that is a good thing.
it helps me live a healthier lifestyle. i am excited to be on the panel. >> thanks, jessica. i was putting together a presentation recently with the logos of companies in the sharing economy on the map near our office at eco dash working place --at a coworking place. i counted 20 share economy places in my neighborhood. there are new companies launched every week. this is just a small sample, some the leaders in san francisco. jay, give us some background on the sharing economy working group and how you think it benefits san francisco,
including underserved communities. >> it is historic we are being thoughtful, looking forward in shaping the policies. mayor lee and board president david chiu and the supervisors announced the sharing economy working group. the idea is to look at the issues at play as well as understand the benefits of the sharing economy, whether environmental or economic. you can see with the companies that there is tremendous dahlia to society. it is getting ahead of the curve so that we're not applying outdated rules to a new approach. earlier legislation did not imagine some of these companies. who would have thought there would be peer to peer car
sharing. it is transformative. we have a role to play from a city hall perspective to nurture and understand the space better to resolve some of the tensions. >> cars sharing is interesting. cars in america are iconic. we identify the good life with them. i wonder what don draper of "mad men" would say about car sharing. he would say "no way. c-- "no way." >> we are going to break out. this is a huge space. we're covering cars, people, entrepreneurship. it is breaking into meaningful pieces.
then having working groups around the smaller pieces, car sharing, parking, entrepreneurship, then inviting you and the companies to understand the challenges we face and how we should manage -- modernize our regulatory system to reflect this greatness that is happening. >> i get e-mails about people wanting to be on the working group. >> i wish i had an answer. i think we need to get more -- we just announced it last week. it will take some time. " you could always do a rock launch page. molly, let's chat with you. there was a city hearing about applying hotel tax to your
rentals. tell us about what happened. >> last wednesday, the tax collector called a hearing to discuss the applicability of the transient occupancy tax to short-term rentals and operators. we were concerned about this tax and its applicability to airbnb and our community. they showed up in great numbers at the hearing. our main concern is that we vote regularly to increase our own taxes. i do not think any of us are completely opposed to taxes. our concern is the tax code was written in 1961, long before the sharing economy existed, the
internet, and the new thing we call airbnb. something that was written for corporate hotels and guests should not be applied to something that is entirely new, to permanent residents of san francisco who are occasionally renting out a couch or bedroom to a visitor, with whom the form great lasting friendships quite often. we announced that the entire city family take time to think about whether the existing laws should apply to the new activity or whether we should create new policies and regulations that apply more appropriately to the activity. we look forward to tackling that with the working group going forward. >> how was the turnout? >> it was a pretty huge turnout. we had about 40 hosts from san
francisco, probably more than that. many of them testified. it was an incredibly moving experience. i do not think i have seen a city hearing the was that emotional. people are using this income to pay property taxes if they own their home, pay off their mortgages, pay increasing rents. our cofounders could not afford their increasing rent so they blew up an air mattress in their living room and rented it out to make rent. this is incredibly important as a source of income for our hosts. if you are taxing at 15%, we need to do so thoughtfully. >> what was the treasurer's view? how is it different from yours?
>> we do not know what the treasurer's view is. we would love to discuss this collaborative lee -- collaboratively. our hosts are interested in this topic and to explain what they are willing to pay. they do not have the same resources as a corporate hotel to collect and remit taxes monthly because they are not running a business. this is done occasionally. in my case, probably two weeks a year. we do not know what the treasurer and tax collector think about this. we look forward to speaking with them and having a couple conversation. >> when i went to austin last year, i stayed in the home of a single working mom. it was a good feeling to give
her the money. it was a unique experience. she was an artist. i stayed in this trailer full of art. it had two huge styrofoam griffins at the doorway. it was very festive. [laughter] let's hear from the other entrepreneurs. how old are your services rubbing up against laws -- how are your services rubbing up against loss in san francisco? >> we are lucky in san francisco that the city does not have regulations as far as licenses and certification is required for tour guides. it is already very open. it is different from the regulations in new york city. that is another market we're in. we're looking forward to
allowing san francisco to lead the way by showing the impact our platform can have. we are also really concerned with the tax issue as well. so far, the tax code is really segmented largely for personal and business taxes. the sharing economy presents a nuanced situation. individuals are not businesses but are enjoying a new stream of income. we are interested in having that conversation in a way where we can use the new economy to benefit the city as well as individuals who are proactively taking all entrepreneurship in their own hands to leverage their own resources and knowledge to supplement their income. >> at task rabbit, we're looking
to partner with the city and generate more awareness around what we do and how consumers and small businesses can get involved. we have a lot of small businesses utilizing the network as a delivery force or on demand labor force, particularly with seasonal businesses. they do not want to have to hire a bunch of full-time employees for a month or two of work. they're able to utilize the task private network to scale up and down. another case we see is for deliveries. suzy cakes uses task rabbit to get her goodies out. these tasks rabbits are using their own vehicles to do the deliveries.
it is typically for a quick five-minute stop. one thing we have been brainstorming with the city about is whether there is a collaborative consumption parking pass or parking network. i know you have some thoughts for this on get around. there's something to consider in that area as you have this network of people out running around doing these deliveries and working with small businesses. how can we make it easier for the small businesses to thrive while using a network like task rabbit? >> i would like to follow up and stress that we are eager not just to deal with the problems of ancient regulations but also help the city work together on opportunities. there are enormous opportunities
that airbnb presents to the city. tourism is one of the most important economic activities in san francisco. there's great concern by neighborhood groups that economic activity is not going to reach the further out neighborhoods in the city during the america's cup. we would love to work with the city family to encourage america's cup visitors and locals to go out and experience all that the city has to offer in the various neighborhoods. we look forward to pursuing the opportunities and shared interests with the city. >> with car sharing, we're lucky to be part of an industry that has addressed these things in the past. we have great leaders like zip car that have led the way and
fought the battles on car sharing. it is a different activity. it has different iopportunities. we are working proactively to have conversations to educate people to understand how it is different even from car sharing. this is real people, real cars. we think it has even broader environmental and community implications. we got a $one. 7 million grant from the federal highway administration to launch a three-year study on peer to peer car sharing. we will be reporting back on how that is going. we will know quickly in terms of the impact of peer to peer cars sharing of people choosing not to own a vehicle.
as we look at ways of enabling this behavior, not sharing your car is easier than sharing. it will have benefits, monetary, environmental, community, making the world a better place, helping people. i think all of us in this room want that. with this new tax on airbnb, each of these things are deterrents to doing the right thing. i hope we can make more innovative and informed decisions to make it easy to share. i would like to see tax incentives for any sort of sharing behavior. i think that is probably where it will go in the future. until we get that together,
there is only a tax on airbnb. >> do you mind if i clarify that? the treasurer just held a hearing, so he has not the decision yet, so things are still open. just wanted to clarify that. >> we are interested in how this economy affects people in their everyday lives, and people left out of the economic mainstream who may be struggling. how can benefits of a sharing economy reach into underserved communities, and what are you doing specifically, like special programs that are being created for that? let's see, who wants to jump in on that one? >> i will start. we actively recruit guys and
have a program so that we keep quality control on the site. when we start in a city such as san francisco, we look at what makes the city unique and seek out experiences and personalities and guides for the site that can really tell the city to tourists and locals alike. a couple of examples of the -- there's a passionate street artist in the mission will had offered tours to friends and family and people in the community. he had become an expert. he discovered our platform and is not able -- not only able to monetize and make money to do what he loves that he had already been doing the sharing the expertise and knowledge will be on his own network of family and friends. we have tourists coming from japan and france, and instead of just seeing pier 39, they are also venturing into the mission, spending money at the local readers shop and gaining knowledge about something they
have now become passionate about. one other example is a homeless man who lives in the tenderloin at a shelter. him volunteering in the tenderloin. realized that there was a huge opportunity for people to educate themselves about homelessness in san francisco because it is something that the city, for better or worse, is known for. instead of ignoring that segment of town -- because you do not typically think of it as a tourist destination -- we wanted to see what were the strengths that it could bring as a tourism opportunity? our guide has now made enough money to buy a cell phone so that he can operate more of these tours, and it has spread to personalities such as the author, who recommended it to all of his friends, and the deputy mayor of atlanta who came on the tour to inform his homeless policy in atlanta. we really see the reach of this,
not only taking people into other underserved communities, but really redefining what tourism is. it is such a huge moneymaker for the city, but also, we are now attracting locals and other people who would not necessarily think to go on a tour or to pay for an experienced to now pay for them. >> we see a really wide variety of those that are part of our community. you might think often people think that college students would be out running around town doing errands, and from the beginning, that was never the case. the first big learning i had when i launched the business. we have stay at home moms that are out running their own parents anyway and not mind picking things up for people. young professionals looking to supplement their incomes nights and weekends. san francisco is an extensive place to live. if they could make a few extra bucks on the side to help supplement their